“Why Dutch?”

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A couple of Thanksgivings ago I had cooked a Tofurkey in this pot for the vegetarians among us. (Yes. That is a real thing, despite the strange looks I get when trying to find one in the supermarket.) I found a relative studying the vessel and then cornering me to find out, not about the Tofurkey(he was deep fat frying a turkey at the time), but about the Dutch oven.

He had a restaurant and loved seeing old kitchen items, but he said he had never seen a Dutch oven like mine. It was another inherited piece from my grandmother and I used it all the time without thinking much about it. Manufactured by Griswold, this Erie, Pennsylvania cast iron pan turns out to be of monetary value in the world of cast iron collecting. (Who knew that there was even a world of cast iron collecting?) While I have no intention of selling mine since it is in constant use, I was intrigued that he was right to inquire about it.

The lid of the Dutch oven also fits on the cast iron skillet I wrote about a couple of days ago. This comes in handy when I want to braise some meat with less sauce than I might use in the Dutch oven. The larger pan holds chili, stew, soup and a variety of sauces. It was a slow cooker before someone decided to market an electric slow cooker. I do have to remove leftovers to store them, since tomato based food will take on an unpleasant(albeit healthy) metallic taste if left in too long.

As to why it is called Dutch. I have no idea.

 

17 thoughts on ““Why Dutch?”

  1. Wikipedia says this.

    ‘During the 17th century, brass was the preferred metal for English cookware and domestic utensils, and the Dutch produced it at the lowest cost, which, however, was still expensive.[1] In 1702, Abraham Darby was a partner in the Brass Works Company of Bristol, which made malt mills for breweries.[2] Apparently in 1704, Darby visited the Netherlands, where he studied the Dutch methods of working brass, including the casting of brass pots.[3] Darby learned that when making castings, the Dutch used molds made of sand, rather than the traditional loam and clay, and this innovation produced a finer finish on their brassware.[4] In 1706 he started a new brass mill in the Baptist Mills section of Bristol.[5] There Darby realized that he could sell more kitchen wares if he could replace brass with a cheaper metal, namely, cast iron.[6] Initial experiments to cast iron in sand molds were unsuccessful, but with the aid of one of his workers, James Thomas, a Welshman, he succeeded in casting iron cookware.[7] In 1707 he obtained a patent for the process of casting iron in sand, which derived from the Dutch process.[8] Thus, the term “Dutch oven” has endured for over 300 years, since at least 1710’.

    I hope that clears it up. 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete.

  2. You may have no idea why it’s called Dutch, but you could take it on Antiques Roadshow and get an idea what it’s worth.

    If it’s worth a lot,
    I wouldn’t get indigestion
    If you gave me a slice of the pot
    For giving you the suggestion.

  3. And to show you how small the world is, the Abraham Darby mentioned by Pete, started his innovative blast furnace at Dolgun in 1713 just walking distance from my front door !

    Keep hold of the oven they are a masterpiece of design and and work as well today as they did hundreds of years ago.

  4. I’ve been looking for some old cast iron to give as a wedding gift. Nearly impossible and expensive. The new cast iron is crap, made in China

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